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nailem

wakesurf boards explained

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nailem    29

I did a quick search and came up empty handed. is there a site that explains the different board types, construction, ext.
if not it would be nice if someone more knowledgeable could put something together for those of us that are less knowledgeable.
I found a good start here:
http://www.the-house.com/portal/how-to-wakesurf-board-types-differences/
but things that I don't know are the difference between a twin, a single or thruster. what the different fin set-up do for you, what the different rockers or single/double concave.
maybe it could be put together as a sticky with definitions and explanations. just a thought.

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Dj8312    2

I Still don't know the difference in surf and skim some are thicker some are thinner. What works for who and what ? I like the ideal of someone with the knowledge

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tuneman    6

Surf style directly relates to actual surfing, which most everyone has seen, at least on television. Skim style relates to skim boarding. Search on Youtube, if you don't know what skim boarding is.

 

A surf style board is typically constructed with a thick foam core and then wrapped in fiberglass. This construction method creates a very light and bouyant board that will hold a rider of almost any weight. Large fins are then added to a surf style board for "drive", which is defined as the effect of water pressure pushed against a surfboard's surface to create acceleration down the line on a wave. In simple terms, it means that you use the fins to create speed by carving them back and forth. It's similar to the speed you can generate by carving a skateboard back and forth. On a skateboard, you're pushing against the world with the wheels. On a surfboard, you're pushing against the world with big fins.

 

Now the more fins you have, and the larger the fins you have, the more drive you'll be able to create. However, there's a downside. More fins also means more surface area, which translates to more drag. So you'll need to carve more to stay in the pocket. Great if you need a workout, but not so great if you just want a lazy ride.

 

A skim style board is typically made from wood or is compression molded. This construction is can be the same as how wakeboards are made. Because of this, skim style boards tend to be heavier than surf style boards, but thin enough to fit in a typical wakeboard rack. Skim style boards will have very small fins, or no fins at all, for easy spinning.

Skim style boards also have a greater tendency to pearl (nose dive), because of their weight, and are also sensitive to the weight of the rider.

 

If you're a skateboarder at heart, want to give shovits a try and want to spin 3's, 7's and even 10's or more, a skim style wakesurfer is your ticket. If you want a board that's easy to learn on for everyone in the boat, pick up a larger size skim style board.

 

If you want to do big carves, get big air and spin 3's, then a surf syle wakesurfer is your ticket. Or if you weigh over 200 pounds, you'll feel at home with a surf style board.

 

Tail Designs

pintail.jpgPintails – Pintails are designed to provide maximum control and surface hold on the wave. They have minimal surface area and come to a point at the end with little curvature. This decreased surface area decreases the lift on the tail and allows the point to dig into the face of the wave, causing the board to “track” or maintain direction. Pintails are used almost exclusively on big wave gun surfboards, where control is the most important element. Pintails are not so maneuverable, but when you’re speeding down the face of a 20′ Waimea bomb it is more important that the board go straight and not suddenly start snaking all over the place.

roundpintail.jpgRoundpin Tail – This surfboard tail design is a more versatile version of the pintail with a bit more width and curve. It is the halfway point between round tails and pintails, ideal for medium sized surf, anywhere from shoulder to almost double overhead. Softer curve coming to either a point or a rounded point. This tail design provides a moderate reduction in surface area to maintain control, however it is not as extreme as the pintail. Roundpin tails have less release and create smoother, more drawn out turns. This tail can be found on a variety of boards from shortboards and hybrids to longboards.

roundtail1.jpgRound Tail – This is a smoother continuation of the board’s contour, coming to a rounded end. The increased surface area helps give the board a bit more lift in the rear and allows for a looser, more turnable board. These are popular on shortboards where maneuverability is key. A round tail will provide more release off the top of a wave than a squash or swallow tail, however it makes square turns off the bottom or mid face a bit more difficult without a corner to work with, such as exists on a squash or swallow tail. Round tails help direct the water around the end of the board and provide more stability in hollow, fast surf.

squashtail.jpgSquash Tail – Very responsive, the squash surfboard tail design provides all the surface and planing area of a round tail, contributing to speed and lift and helping to maintain speed in slower spots. The rounded corners provide a bit more bite and control than the round tail, and the square end allows the board to release. The corners allow for more pivotal, abrupt turns off the bottom or on the face, but will provide less release off the top. This tail design relies on the tri-fin setup to maintain control. The squash is the most popular tail for a shortboard.

 

swallowtail2.jpgSwallow Tail – The swallow tail is related to the squash tail in that it provides more surface area from rail to rail, allowing for planing speed and lift. The tail of the board curves down to two points as in a squash, but the area between those points is decreased by a vee cutout resulting in two soft points. The decreased area between the corners and more pronounced points give the board more “bite” and control in critical maneuvers, as well as when going into and out of turns. The two points on the swallow tail act sort of like dual miniature round point tails, but without the pronounced “tracking” that a pin or rounded pin provides. The swallow tail is generally good for small waves, but it also is good for surfers who want a board that’s going to stick during deep carves. Fish type surfboards tend to have a pronounced swallowtail, compensating for the wider, straighter outline which is more difficult to maneuver.

battail.jpgBat Tail – (sometimes called a star tail) This is rare surfboard tail design. It’s a version of the swallow tail and essentially performs the same way. Helps keep the tail wider so the rails can run straigher down the length of the board. The bat tail is essentially just a cosmetic difference, as it is extremely difficult to percieve any difference between the Bat, Diamond and Swallow. Some say that the center point of the bat tail adds a bit more stability.

diamondtail.jpgDiamond Tail – The diamond tail is a lesser used tail design now that the squash tail has become more popular. The original intent of the diamond tail was to soften up the square tail but keep some of its speed.

squaretail.jpgSquare Tail – The square tail is like the squash, but the pointed corners create more square turns with less release and more bite.


Quad vs Thrusters

What is the difference between tri fin and quad fin set ups? This is a huge question that is coming up more and more often as we now see new surf boards with 5/4/3 fin set ups. The 5/4/3 setup is a setup that has 5 fin boxes that allows a surfer to choose between 3 fins or 4. Question is, which set up is right for you?

Let’s start by identifying the performance difference between these two setups. The tri fin, or thruster, setup is the classic fin setup. It features three fins creating the shape of a triangle, one stabilizer fin in the back and two more in front of the stabilizer close to the rails. This setup is made for speed control; the center stabilizer fin creates drag which is an important action for controlling your speed. The quad fin setup is used to be more maneuverable and faster than a thruster setup. Believe it or not the quad fin setup is less restrictive than a thruster which really helps for quick accelerations when taking off on a wave. Also another benefit over the thruster is its more maneuverable and turns quicker and feels more “skaty”, or loose, due to the lack of a center stabilizer fin.

tri-fin-setup-300x200.jpg

Thruster Setup

So now you are probably thinking that a quad fin setup its better in many more ways than a thruster, but it all depends of what you are surfing whether one setup is better than the other. A quad setup is better for smaller waves. When the waves are smaller it can be harder to catch one and turn on a dime, a quad setup allows a surfer to really accelerate quickly to catch the wave, get that critical first turn in easily, and maintain the speed he/she needs to ride out the smaller waves. So really when you’re surfing in less than stellar conditions, a quad fin setup would be a wiser choice if you’re looking for that more high performance ride in smaller surf.

If you are looking at surfing huge waves and catching barrels then a tri fin setup would be the ideal setup for a good time. That center stabilizer fin will help keep your board going straight and help maintain the correct speed to stay in the barrel and not lose control. Also when you’re surfing bigger waves and hitting snaps, the thruster setup will help you keep the control you need to nail your maneuver without overshooting your landing or coming in to trick too with too much speed. Overall the thruster setup will really help you keep speed control you need on the bigger waves and getting barreled.

quad-fin-setup-300x186.jpg

Quad Fin Setup

Different Concaves for Your Waves

different%20surfboard%20concaves.jpg

Double To Single Concaves Loosen The Surfboard

Knowing the different surfboard bottom contours and how they affect surfing performance will help you communicate with your shaper or local surf shop for your next board. You want to use the right equipment given your skills, the waves you ride, and how you want your surfing to progress. Two of the more important surfboard bottom contours to know and understand are the single concave and the single to double concave. Let’s dive in.

Single Concave

The road map of a surfboard with a single concave bottom will look something like this: The first 12-20 inches of entry will be either flat, have a slight roll, or have a slight vee; this is followed with a shallow single concave that will increase in depth until it reaches its max depth just in front of the outside fins; the concave then slowly decreases in depth through the center fin to the tail.

A single concave channels water from the front of the surfboard until it passes the fins and out the tail of the board. The design allows for faster surfing and works very well in large clean surf. It is not particularly versatile as it does not do well in choppy surf, but the speed makes it a very popular choice. A single concave will enable tighter turns, but it can sometimes stick to a wave face causing it to track and become less maneuverable. For this reason, many shapers will gradually introduce a double concave to their surfboards.

Single to Double Concave

In most cases, the surfboard will have a single concave leading from the nose and will gradually fade into a double concave as it nears the tail. The single concave upfront provides a good planing surface for drive and the double concave in the rear loosens up the board. The double concave will actually channel the water into two streams through the fins and out the tail.

The single to double concave is the bottom contour of choice for most modern shortboards. It utilizes the strengths of each design while muting their disadvantages. It reduces the tracking of a single concave while still allowing for a fast ride and a loose feel to the surfboard.

 

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nailem    29

Tuneman, that was exactly what I was talking about. Thank you for taking the time to put it down for us. I have been surfing for 3 years now and I'm looking for a new surf style board. The enzo I bought a couple of years ago came with a shred stixx fish stixx. Before that I only rode some less expensive CWB skim boards. The shred stixx quickly became my favorite board. Now I'm in the market for a new surf style board and this will give me the education to make the right choice.

Thanks again

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MobEnzo    48

Great info! Thanks for sharing!

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DrNate    423

Wow, that is very impressive Tuneman! I thought I knew just about everything there is to know about surfboards at this point, but I still learned a few things. Thanks for sharing!

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truekaotik    460

excellent Tuneman!!!!

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duramat    464

excellent Tuneman!!!!

X2!!

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wakemitch    15

It is very rare for Skimboards to be made of wood or compression molded.

 

Wood Skimboards are for flatland skimboarding. And compression molded Skimboards are built only by the wakeboard companies.

 

Wake Skimboards built by phase 5, Victoria, inland surfer, and triple x are not compression molded. Most use a cnc cut mid or high density foam core and then are wrapped in e-glass, s-glass, or carbon fiberglass. They are light, lively, and very fast. They do not even compare to compression molded boards in terms of ride and performance.

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truekaotik    460

It is very rare for Skimboards to be made of wood or compression molded.

Wood Skimboards are for flatland skimboarding. And compression molded Skimboards are built only by the wakeboard companies.

Wake Skimboards built by phase 5, Victoria, inland surfer, and triple x are not compression molded. Most use a cnc cut mid or high density foam core and then are wrapped in e-glass, s-glass, or carbon fiberglass. They are light, lively, and very fast. They do not even compare to compression molded boards in terms of ride and performance.

See even more helpful info!! You guys are killing it on different perspectives... Keep it up!! We need everyone's point of view from different angles :) they all help in ther own ways....

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tuneman    6

You're welcome, guys.

 

Wakemitch, you're 100% correct. I should have proof read before I posted. I actually wrote that article several years ago before I knew what I was talking about.

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PayCheck    20

So what I'm taking away from this is that a quad fin, surf style? Would be better for a smaller wave. Also better for choppy conditions. Great write up, I have been curious about the different board types but also have never been able to find a good write up. It would be fun to experiment and make my own board using the facts defined here to my personal preferences. Very nice tuneman :thumbsup:

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WakeDoc    477

I ran across this recently, saw the this thread and thought everyone might benifit from it.

 

===============================================================

 

The information in the following three post came from www.surfing-waves.com although the information was created for ocean surfing most of the shaping techniques carry over to the wakesurfing boards, be sure to visit their site for more information.

The Bottom of the Surfboard

The underside of the surfboard; it sounds seedy! There are two aspects to note when looking at the reverse side of the board. These aspects are the bottom contour of the board and the fins. (You may also have to consider fin boxes for a board with removable fins, but don't panic. We'll cover this in a bit.) There are several different bottom contours to look at, each giving the board different characteristics.

surfboard_bottom.jpg

Surfboard Bottom Contours

Here are the main bottom contours that you'll see on a surfboard. For now, we'll ignore the more experimental shapes. The images below represent a cross-section of the board.


bot_flat.jpgFlat Bottom
As you might guess, this type of bottom shape is not concave but is instead flat. This type of bottom contour works well on all types of surfboard and is particularly useful for a "heavier" surfer.


bot_single.jpgSingle Concave
The single concave runs the length of the board and cleanly channels water from the tip through the fins. This contour is designed for speed and works well in fast, large, clean surf. This shape does not perform well in messy, lumpy surf and as such is not a good choice for a surfboard you want to use in all-round conditions.


bot_double.jpgDouble Concave
The double concave is seen on the majority of modern mainstream surfboards and is most likely the bottom contour your board has if you bought it straight off the rack at a surf shop. Generally the board will have a single concave from the nose which will gradually fade into a double concave towards the tail. The single concave provides a good planing surface, giving the board drive. The double concave splits the water into two channels through the fins and creates a much looser ride—great for those flowing maneuvers.


bot_vee.jpgVee Shape
You can see from the image that the lowest point of the board in the water is by the stringer. This low point provides a pivot point and creates easy rail-to-rail surfing. This shape is normally used towards the tail of the board only; a board with a Vee contour will more than likely have one of the other concaves elsewhere. This is the popular choice for big wave boards.


bot_chan.jpgChannels
Channels are more of an experimental bottom contour and, like the Vee shape, are employed towards the tail of the surfboard. Channels work best in clean surf and are designed to create extra speed.

 

Surfboard Rails

The rails are the "edge" of the surfboard and run from the tail to the nose of the board. Rails are where the deck and the bottom meet. Like the other parts of the surfboard, rails have their part to play in shaping the overall performance of the surfboard. The shape of the rails determines how water flows over them when the board is planing and turning. Different shapes have different uses. Rails are thickest towards the center of the board and thinnest at the tail and nose.

Hard and Soft Rails
Hard rails and soft rails are the two main types of rails. Soft rails are nice and rounded with no defined edges and a smooth transition. Hard rails have a distinct edge and may meet the bottom of the board in a corner. Soft rails are common on traditional longboards and provide good stability and plenty of drive. However, a board with soft rails will not turn as easily as a hard-railed board. The harder the rail, the quicker and tighter the board will turn.

softrail.jpghardrail.jpg


Rail Descriptions

Rails can be described not only in general terms like hard and soft but also in more abstract terms like characteristics of shape and proportionality as a ratio of distance of the widest point between the deck and the bottom of the board.

  • Round rail: a well rounded rail that almost forms a complete semi-circle.
  • Down rail or down-turned rail: a rail coming to an edge at the bottom of the board.
  • Rolled rail: a down rails that is rolled under the board.
  • Egg rail: similar to round rail but more drawn out (like an egg).
  • 50/50: a proportional description of a rail where the widest point of the rail is at the mid point of the rail.
  • 60/40: A proportional description of a rail where the widest point is towards the bottom.

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WakeDoc    477

Surfboard Tail Shapes
If you have had a look around a surf shop, you'll already have seen that there is a wide range of different surfboard tail shapes to choose from. In this section, we take a quick look at some of the most common shapes and the surf conditions that they are best suited to. If you're thinking about getting a custom board shaped, you may not have considered the different choices of surfboard tail shape. Make sure you have a chat with your shaper about what suits your surfing best.

 

squashtail.jpgSquash tail
The squash tail is probably the most common tail shape on modern surfboards. There are no prizes for guessing why it got its name. The design offers a stable ride but enables the surfboard to still remain loose. The squash tail is a great tail shape for any standard of surfer and can be used in both small and overhead waves.


squaretail.jpgSquare tail

The square tail's shape is, well, squared off at the end. It's really the pre-runner to the squash tail and is not so common on new boards these days. The rails meet the tail at sharp corners giving the surfboard good maneuverability. It's best used in small to head high waves.

 

thumbtail.jpgThumb tail

A more rounded version of the squash tail, the design of the thumb tail results in more stability for the board. This shape has no hard edge that you find in the squash and square tail. A thumbnail is great for rail-to-rail surfing and big old turns! It's most effective in medium to very large surf.


r_pintail.jpgRounded Pin tail

Very similar to the thumb tail, the rounded pin tail is slightly more "pinched" toward the tail. This tail was very popular in the single-fin days and is the tightest-holding rail. Like the thumbtail and the regular pintail, there is no interruption in the flow from the rail directly through to the tail. The rounded pin tail is a great tail for medium to large waves and ideal for powerful hollow surf.


pintail.jpgPin tail

The pin tail is the next step down from the rounded pin tail. The pintail comes to much more of a point than the rounded tail and finishes in a sharper, thinner pin. This is the tail shape for surfing large, powerful, hollow waves. This is the tube rider special!

 

b_swallowtail.jpgBaby Swallow tail

The baby swallow tail is the smaller of the swallow tail shapes. This tail combines the rail drive shape of the squaretail with the sensitivity of the pin tail, making this a great tail shape for big wave surfers. The baby swallow tail can be used in small to large surf.


swallowtail.jpgSwallow tail

The swallow tail, like the baby version, combines the rail drive of the square tail and the sensitivity of the pin tail. The swallow tail is an easy one to spot for the novice! This is the tail shape used on fish surfboards. The wider tail gives better paddling power and increased drive in smaller waves.

 

battail.jpgBat tail

The bat tail performs like a swallow tail. Its two outer pivot points and the addition of the central point of the wing provide greater stability. The bat tail is good in smallish to overhead waves and is one of the more modern surfboard tail designs.


wing.jpgWing tail

The wing is really not a tail shape but more of a rail shape. It can be seen as the bump in the rails just in front of the front fins. Don't be confused and think that this is a different tail shape. The tail shown on the left is still a swallowtail. Just remember that the board also has a wing.


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WakeDoc    477

Fin Placement

The number of fins on a board, the placement of the fins relative to each other, and the location of the fins on the board affect how well the board turns and how fast the board goes. (Its speed is often referred to as "drive".)


The bottom contour of the board will often determine where the fins should be placed. Moving the fins forward (away from the tail) tends to make the board looser.


It also worth noting that the closer the fins are to each other, the easier the board will be to turn, and thus the looser the board will be. The further apart the fins get, the harder the board will be to turn.


Fin Set Ups

Originally, surfboards did not have fins. The first fin setup was the single-fin on the longer surfboards. The twin-fin came next, followed by the tri-fin or thruster. These three setups comprise the bulk of surfboard fin positions.


fin_single.jpgSingle-Fin

The most popular setup on modern longboards, although some surfers like to have a thruster-type fin setup with two smaller fins on the outside.


fin_twin.jpgTwin-Fin

Fish surfboards often have twin fins which keep board symmetry with the fish / swallow tail shapes. This is a popular fin setup on retro surfboards.


fin_tri.jpgTri-Fin / Thruster

The thruster setup is the most commonly found setup for modern shortboards and funboards/mini-mals.

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tuneman    6

So what I'm taking away from this is that a quad fin, surf style? Would be better for a smaller wave. Also better for choppy conditions. Great write up, I have been curious about the different board types but also have never been able to find a good write up. It would be fun to experiment and make my own board using the facts defined here to my personal preferences. Very nice tuneman :thumbsup:

 

One option that I didn't include is a dual fin setup. It's all personal preference, but for me I've found that quads don't work well in a wakesurfing environment, other than a twinzer setup. If I don't have a twinzer, I ride dual, fins placed as far forward as possible for snappy turning. Put them in the back for beginners. Keenan Flegal would argue the quad fin setup, but he also came from big wave surfing. Twinzers give you the quad drive without the extra drag when turning 3s.

 

I should also clarify that I only wrote the first part of my original post. From tail designs down, I took from various sites.

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nailem    29

ok, so what is the difference in a quad and a twinzer?

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tuneman    6

Quad: Essentially 4 fins spread out for maximum fin area and the potential for maximum drive

 

Twinzer: A 4 fin setup that is more like a twin fin with an additional smaller fin placed just ahead of the main fin. This small fin acts as a turbocharger by channeling additional water to the larger fin, creating additional drive without the drag of a quad setup. The Flyboy has Twinzers.

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DarksideR    1,666

Wow, all good stuff here. I think alot of us have just learned something new. Thanks guys!

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